News

Offer to develop tougher safety guidelines for Qld concerts

St John Queensland chief Errol Carey said Queensland had nothing similar to the Western Australian guidelines for events.
St John Queensland chief Errol Carey said Queensland had nothing similar to the Western Australian guidelines for events. Contributed

ST JOHN Ambulance Queensland has called for stronger guidelines on medical care at large-sale concerts and events in the wake of a coroner's findings about the death of a Western Australian teen at a Big Day Out event.

The organisation, which has extensive experience providing first aid at such events, has offered to help the Queensland Government develop and implement Queensland specific guidelines for concerts, events and organised gatherings to help save lives.

Gemma Thoms was 17 when she collapsed at the 2009 festival in Perth, having taken three ecstasy tablets after panicking she would be caught with them.

A coroner last month found there were inadequate medical facilities at the festival, though noted medical facilities had now exceeded that required during the 2013 BDO festival in the city.

St John Queensland chief Errol Carey said Queensland had nothing similar to the Western Australian guidelines for such events.

"The WA Coroner's report highlighted the alarming level of drugs available at events like Big Day Out and the need for quality medical care to be available at such events," he said.

"As the state's leading provider of first aid at concerts and events, St John is dedicated to the safety of the Queensland community and as such, is more than willing to assist the government to ensure similar guidelines are developed."

A spokeswoman from the Health Minister's office said they had not yet received the correspondence but welcomed and respected any input from St John Ambulance.

"We value their service and their organisation and the minister will gladly meet with them to take on board their concerns," she said.

Ms Thoms lied to paramedics about the drugs she had taken and returned to the festival once she was feeling better but coroner Dominic Mulligan said she was soon after rushed to hospital.

"Ms Thoms did not know that after she swallowed the third tablet she had just consumed a fatal quantity of ecstasy, which in the context of a very hot day, would inexorably lead to her death unless she was extremely lucky," Mr Mulligan said.

St John Ambulance attended to 569 people that 37C February day with 23 major medical incidents, 450 minor medical issues and the rest injuries, wounds or behavioural problems.

Mr Mulligan said the medical precautions taken at the 2009 event to treat those suffering from illicit drug use were not adequate, that it would have been prudent for festival organisers to employ tertiary qualified practitioners - paramedics, nurses or doctors.

He said those comments were made "with the benefit of hindsight and experience".

"In my opinion, where you have thousands of young people who want to enjoy themselves, together with; hot weather, alcohol and illicit drugs, you are likely to have situations where it would not be surprising if a patron suffered from an illicit drug overdose," he said.

"It would have been prudent to put in place an adequate strategy and resources to assist those suffering from an illicit drug overdose."

The publicist for the popular Futures, Parklife and Summerfieldayze festivals said no one was available for comment this week.

The Big Day Out publicist's phone was switched off with a recording telling callers she was busy on tour.

Topics:  concerts queensland government safety st john ambulance


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Give the next gen a chance: Men's Shed founder

IDEA: Les McKenzie has a plan to help youths stay off benefits.

Les McKenzie has proposed an idea to help young people

Give a gift for dogs and cats in shelters

RAISING HOPE: Alice Thorn, with help from her rescue dog Penny, is leading a fundraiser to buy a Christmas present for every shelter animal on the Coast.

Student aims to buy every shelter pet a pressie

Grateful council says thanks for giving heaps

MIGHTY EFFORT: Cr Jess Glasgow, Noosa volunteers Robyn and Paul Jenkinson with Cr Joe Jurisevic at the special brunch.

Noosa volunteers day in the sun

Local Partners

Facebook solves stolen car mystery

THE social media site might get a bad wrap from time to time but this week it's proven to be a crime-solving wonder.

9 reasons to take the kids to Woodford Folk Festival

FAMILY FREINDLY: Woodford Folk Festival has something for everyone.

If you're thinking about leaving the kids at home, think again

130,000 music lovers get set for folk festival

Getting into the music at Woodford Folk Festival.

Pre-festival ticket sales up 15%

Market-goers are gobbling up the Christmas puddings

Puddling Lane Queensland Christmas puddings.

Christmas wouldn't complete without a traditional Christmas pudding.

Spiderman star used fake name to research role

Spiderman star Tom Holland.

Spiderman star went undercover at Brooklyn highschool

What's on the small screen this week

A scene from the TV documentary Running Wild: Australia's Camels.

TWO new Aussie docos will pique your interest.

EXCLUSIVE: Meet Robert Irwin, wildlife photographer

SNAPPER: Apart from wildlife, photography is Robert Irwin's great passion.

Steve's boy has a passion for photography

Louis Tomlinson's tribute to late mother

Louis Tomlinson's new single is a tribute to his late mother.

Justin Timberlake stuns students with secret class

Justin Timberlake stunned high school students in Sydney

Carrie Fisher says Ford will be bugged by affair confession

Carrie Fisher is sure Harrison Ford is annoyed at her

Business council backs higher buildings

ARIA's proposed No. 1 Esplanade at Mooloolaba.

BUSINESSS Council supports council plan to relax the height limits

Essential to get new Maroochydore CBD fundamentals right

LOOKING AHEAD: The central business district at Maroochydore is planned to be the heart of the Sunshine Coast.

SunCentral reports good progress on 53ha Sunshine Coast city heart

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!